Kiwi fruit isn't the only fruit that New Zealanders can take the credit for renaming - originally they were known as Tree Tomatoes or "tomate de arbol" but to avoid confusion with the regular garden variety tomatoes, the name Tamarillo was officially adopted in 1967.
To be fair, the red tamarillo was created in Auckland back in the 1920's - until then only yellow and purple skinned varieties existed.
Tamarillos can be used raw or cooked but you shouldn't eat the skin as it can be bitter. To peel Tamarillos, you use the same approach as you would tomatoes - cut an x at the tip and plunge into boiling water. Let them sit for a minute, place in cold water and then just peel the skin straight off.
When it comes to finding a recipe, I've once again looked to New Zealand and found quite a nifty dish in the latest edition of Dish - it's a variation by Pippa Cuthbert of the classic English dessert, Fool. In this version the tamarillos are roasted with a little honey and brown sugar until soft.
Roasted Tamarillo Fool[Serves 4]
2 tamarillos, cut in half
½ cup cream (I used Elgaar Dairies Cream)
½ cup thick yoghurt (I used Grandvewe Honey and Vanilla Yoghurt)
Roast the Tamarillos:
You'll need a baking dish that will snugly hold the halved tamarillos. Line the dish with baking paper, making sure it goes well over the sides - this is to make sure all you collect all the syrup that forms while cooking.
Place the tamarillos in the dish, cut side up, sprinkle over with a little brown sugar, followed by a good drizzle of honey.
Cover the dish with foil and bake in a pre-heated 160°C oven until the tamarillos are soft - about 40 to 50 minutes depending on the ripeness of the fruit.
These need to be cooled completely before you can continue with the recipe.
As you can see in the base of this dish, there's that lovely rich thick syrup that's been created during the cooking.
Make the fools:
Scoop the tamarillo flesh out of the skin - discard the skin. Mash it lightly, thinning it a spoonful of syrup to make it an easier consistency to swirl through the cream.
Place the cream into a clean bowl and whip until lightly peaking, pour in the yoghurt and whisk again to incorporate. Add the mashed tamarillo and a spoonful of syrup and fold it gently through.
Carefully scoop this out into four glasses and finish off with an extra drizzle of syrup.
Place in the fridge for a few hours to set before serving.
It's a little bit decadent, but not overly sweet and light enough to be enjoyed anytime.